Welcome to Day 15 of the #MysteryNovember book tour.
Today our guest is John Privilege and his book The American Policeman
The American Policeman
After everything, there is peace. The Collective took London away from the gangs that terrorised the city after the plague and the slow terror of the Breakdown. The blood on the streets has dried. There is food, water and good housing. Everyone has work. But the meek have not inherited the earth. On a bitterly cold night a woman is brutalised and murdered, shattering the fragile calm of the city. The investigation of London’s first murder in two years falls to Inspector Timothy Conlan and the District team of the New Metropolitan Police. Tim ‘Con’ Conlan serenely navigates the harsh new London. He is dedicated, conscientious and smiling. Around him society is broken. People are traumatised, fearful and wracked with guilt. Now the dark, empty spaces of the city are being stalked by a monster. Con must find and catch a killer who seems to know his every move. At the same time, there is something rotten at the core of the new government. In the very heart of the Collective, massive lies are being spun. There are rumours of war, whispers of betrayal. The Collective is harsh, relentless and utterly unforgiving. The problem for Con is simple: find the killer; stay alive.
Where is your home town?
I grew up on the outskirts of Belfast.
What do you like about writing in the mystery genre?
Mystery fiction is a terrific medium in which to construct characters. There are always two worlds – the police/detective and the criminal – and you can play around in either. I especially enjoy reading and, it turns out, writing moral ambiguity. I like my detectives rumpled, desperate and dishevelled; and my killers human, venal and mean.
What sub-genre of mystery does your book fit?
The American Policeman is set in the aftermath of a devastating pandemic, so post-apocalyptical fiction? Is that a genre? Can you even get a post apocalypse? Maybe it’s a dystopian mystery.
Where is your book set?
The story takes place in London. I wanted a large, dark and empty backdrop to the story; a giant cemetery. The new government is rigid, authoritarian and not a little vicious. I imagined it to be almost like London in World War Two – lots of military personnel, uniforms, rationing. I don’t really know London at all. But I love the city and most of the locations used in the story are real.
Can you introduce us to the main characters?
The main character is Inspector Timothty ‘Con’ Conlan – the eponymous American Policeman. He is outwardly well adjusted, loyal, conscientious and unflinchingly honest. His team in the District Division of the New Metropolitan Police is a collection of survivors: Anna Gadek, detective sergeant and the object of Con’s odd affections; Danny Galvin, another detective sergeant, broken and damaged; the mysterious Twins – Althea and Donna. Their investigation is complicated by the arrival of Jenny McCann, deputy in the London Assembly and the team’s new political officer. Other characters are revealed in flashbacks to the plague and the Breakdown. Oh, there’s also a dead little walking around the empty darkness of a mouldy hotel.
Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
I’m a compulsive tweeter and will bend your ear on any subject over on Twitter – @BeardyJohn.
I’m in the process of constructing a Facebook page. I have a couple of entries on Amazon.
Where can readers find your book?